This week I got to play what I’ve decided to call Death & Tax Returns (since it is a budget list) for the first time this week. Just to preface I do not really have any D&T experience. I’ve dabbled in Dead-Guy Ale but that’s about it so I was going into this fairly blind much like anyone new to Legacy would be (with the VERY large benefit of understanding the meta much better).

I ended up going 1-3 which I know isn’t great, but I can say I wasn’t salty about any of the losses and still had a really great time.  I’m a sore loser so I can’t pretend that I always feel that way when I do poorly, I normally don’t. The deck definitely needs a little bit of work but for a first night out I was very happy and feel like I’m on the road to budget victory!

Death & Tax Returns

Creatures (25)
Akroma, Angel of Fury
Leonin Arbiter
Mirran Crusader
Mother of Runes
Phyrexian Revoker
Sanctum Prelate
Stoneforge Mystic
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Spells (13)
Swords to Plowshares
Smuggler’s Copter
Umezawa’s Jitte
Aether Vial
Lands (22)
12 Plains
 Ghost Quarter

Sideboard (15)
Eidolon of Rhetoric
Faerie Macabre
Absolute Law
Rest in Peace
Pithing Needle

My first round was also where I acquired my first win, against Storm (Ad Nauseam-Tendrils more specifically).  It was an extremely easy match-up for me.  Game one I was able to get Thalia into Sanctum Prelate and he scooped before I could even pick a number for it.  Game two I sided in my three Eidolons and got an opening hand that included one along with a Thalia so it was a snap keep for me.  My opponent probed me turn one to see my hand and realized he didn’t have a lot of time so he attempted to kill me on turn zero.  He got very close but needed just one more mana source to be able to kill me and ended up killing himself with his Ad Nauseam (flipping his sideboard Massacre).  I can’t pretend it wasn’t nice to start this challenge off by winning round one 2-0.

Round two I was paired against a good friend of mine playing Aluren.  This match-up was tough. Thalia and Sanctum Prelate are really my only real means of defense here until after sideboard when I get Eidolons that honestly only really slows them down a little. Sadly my lack of Cavern of Souls and Aluren’s inclusion of Force of Will make it much more challenging to win this match-up and I lost 2-1.  Death and Taxes does well by hating on spells, and value creatures aren’t something it’s great at outplaying so I wasn’t expecting much going into this.

Round three I got paired against Miracles and god was I missing those Caverns more than ever by the end.  I quickly won game one without any issue, mainly because of mana screw on my opponent’s end.  Game two I got some great stuff out quickly but my opponent saw two Terminus early on which put me in a bad position.  I was able to Wasteland and Ghost Quarter him completely out of white mana after that but, he was able to eventually top-deck a Jace.  Game three I thought was never going to end. I’ve never really played a deck that can die under a counter-top lock and that definitely happened to me this time.  Not having Caverns made me want to just flip the table, my opponent floated a Wear/Tear on top and a Council’s Judgement under that so I wasn’t able to get ANYTHING through.  I can say I was able to get Akroma VERY close to flipping one game (they needed to double swords to save it) and I was able to flip her another game but Terminus quickly took her away from me.

Round four I got paired against a very interesting deck that was a combination of Miracles and Omnishow that also included Lim-Dul’s Vault.  For game one I pegged them as a simple Omnishow deck: they played an early Show and Tell to drop Omniscience, dig a little bit and then play Emrakul to win.  They got mana-screwed badly game two and after I had a Leonin Arbiter out I was able to Ghost Quarter their only land so they quickly scooped.  Game three was the long one where I really saw what their deck could do.  They use counter-top to lock out their opponent while they use Lim-Dul’s Vault along with traditional dig to search for the Omnishow pieces.  This game was much longer since I was able to put in a Eidolon off of their Show and Tell. Sadly this did not win me the game though it bought me quite a bit of time.  Counter-top lock is a lot for this deck to handle in it’s current state.

Yesterday was great because I learned what I need to do to fine tune the deck for my metagame. I will definitely be using my budget for getting some Cavern of Souls the next couple of months since I need them so badly.  I am also thinking about bringing in Thalia, Heretic Cathar.  She was in my original list and I was regretting cutting her at several points.  I even have considered bringing in Eidolons to the mainboard because I had more matches where I wanted them in rather than out.  I was worried running Akroma would be nothing more than a sad gimmick but she was actually fantastic.  Most people assumed she was Exalted Angel and people were wasting so much removal on everything to make sure she was taken care of that it often gave me a little extra edge.  I also really enjoyed Smuggler’s Copter.  People recognize its strength so rarely does it stay on the board long, but I honestly don’t mind.  Being able to filter through my draws in a deck like Death and Taxes makes it worth it.

I think for next week I’ll be bringing you an updated decklist with some changes. I am going to look at it like trading cards, try to keep the value even and if there is a little extra I’ll take it from my monthly budget.  I might also use the rest of this month’s budget to add in the first Cavern as my FOW-heavy metagame needs it desperately.

Also, I am in the process of acquiring the deck online. Keep an eye on my Twitter, because I’m going to start streaming the deck, which I’m quite excited about.

If you have any other feedback feel free to reach out to me on Twitter. I try to get back to most people who tweet at me as quickly as I can! I’m doing this challenge to help people get into what I think is the best format without breaking the bank.  Legacy has a bad rap because while the long term costs are very low the upfront costs are out of many peoples range.  It’s important to me that people learn that Legacy is both obtainable and worth obtaining. Until next week!

Kate hails from Worcester MA and also does a bit of Card Altering. Check her Stuff out on Facebook! She mainly plays legacy and modern though will occasionally find herself playing EDH.

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